“It’s not just that autistic adults can struggle to infer the thoughts and motivations of typically developing adults, which has been well documented; the reverse is true as well. Non-autistic people struggle to infer what autistic people are thinking,” Sasson said. “Anecdotally, many autistic people often report better quality of social interaction when engaging with other autistic people. We set out to test this empirically.”
I recall standing on the edge of a deep valley in the Hawaiian island of Maui, thinking that the life stream is like a mountain river — springing from hidden sources, born out of the earth, touched by stars, merging, blending, evolving in the shape momentarily seen. It is molecules probing through time, found smooth-flowing, adjusted to shaped and shaping banks, roiled by rocks and tree trunks — composed again. Now it ends, apparently, at a lava brink, a precipitous fall. Near the fall’s brink, I saw death as death cannot be seen. I stared at the very end of life, and at life that forms beyond, at the fact of immortality. Dark water bent, broke, disintegrated, transformed to apparition — a tall, stately ghost soul emerged from body, and the finite individuality of the whole becomes the infinite individuality of particles. Mist drifted, disappeared in air, a vanishing of spirit. Far below in the valley, I saw another river, reincarnated from the first, its particles reorganized to form a second body. It carried the same name. It was similar in appearance. It also ended at a lava brink. Flow followed fall, and fall followed flow as I descended the mountainside. The river was mortal and immortal as life, as becoming.
“Africa” hit Number One in February 1983 — it replaced Men at Work’s ode to Australia, “Down Under,” the only time in pop history two continents slugged it out for Number One. (Right after the band Asia had the best-selling album of 1982.)
For most children, however, parents understanding the deeper truth behind what kids are getting out of games empowers them to take steps to give kids more of what they need. It also helps parents get into a state of mind to talk rationally about overuse instead of succumbing to the hysterics and moral panic that our parents used to try and force us to stop listening to rock ’n’ roll, watching MTV, playing pinball, or reading comic books. Video games are this generation’s outlet and some kids use them as a tool to escape the same way some of us use our own flavor of dissociative devices to tune out reality for a while.
Maybe you’re in the stage of not knowing. Maybe you have suspicions about yourself, but fear that you’re exaggerating, making it up, or that everyone feels exactly like you do and just keeps it a secret. That’s why I’m writing this entry–why I’m writing this whole blog, really–and I want you to know that you’re not alone.
After all this time, I can finally be free to be openly autistic.
At times, Townshend’s duck walk and windmilling threatened to collide with Daltrey’s theatrics, but at the end of each song they returned to their own corners. Finally, the orchestra left the stage, as did the rest of the band. It was just Daltrey and Townshend to perform “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” still the best argument against idealism in the annals of Western civilization. As the only two humans on the stage, they had to actually look at each other.
Townshend had his doubts about the acoustic approach. “It feels like we’re throwing away one of the great, great pinions of anthemic rock,” he told me before the show. “It’s a song that, on its own, if we both just stood there like vegetables, would fill the room and do the job.”
Daltrey started it stomping out a beat. Townshend chimed in with some sublime strumming. The song still rose to a crescendo even if it was one that the crowd had heard a thousand times already. Then Daltrey growled.
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
At that moment, no one cared who loved who.
This is a great Who album, a wonderful Christmas present for 2019.